Reopening of beaches unlikely soon

 thehindu.com  10/18/2020 19:31:08 

Reopening of the districts prominent beach tourism destinations is likely to be delayed further with the increased number of micro containment zones and vulnerable locations along the coastal belt. Tourism Department officials say they are finding it hard to propose effective screening measures in such locations to prevent the entry of persons with suspected COVID-19 symptoms.

Though the reopening of smaller destinations like Butt Road and South beach in the first phase with stringent crowd control measures is being considered, the district administration is yet to take a decision on it. Tourism Department officials say they cannot permit the opening of the Kozhikode beach from next month.

Reopening of the Kozhikode beach can be recommended only if the existing situation improves. There is also practical difficulty in introducing effective screening measures for visitors by covering such a larger area, says District Tourism Promotion Council Secretary Beena Madusoodanan.

Token system

Meanwhile, token system have been mooted in prime destinations like Kappad for permitting international and domestic tourists. Koyilandy MLA K. Dasan says it is crucial for supporting the ongoing tourism promotion activities.

Kappad is now a blue-flag certified beach and we have to take advantage of it by adopting the best crowd control strategy, he adds.

Beach destinations in the district have been remaining closed for over six months, leaving hundreds of pushcart traders and street food vendors in crisis.

Many are now surviving by doing other odd jobs as their entry to the spot has been discouraged as part of COVID-19 control measures.

Though a few are active in the field of parcel supply along roads, women entrepreneurs have been going through a tough time as their means of income through small-sale ventures have come to a halt.

Buyers are very minimal now even if we go to other locations with this business. Also, a number of local entrepreneurs are now out of their homes to experiment with such brisk business in their own regions, which make the competition tough, says Rasheed, a fisherman from Puthiyappa who used to sell home-made delicacies on the beach. He says the authorities should support such small traders who used to brighten up the beach life.

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